When it comes to breaking up, hindsight is 20/20. But wouldn't it be nice if you could tell that you and your partner were headed for a falling out before it happened?
Fortunately, you can predict a break up. And with just a little bit of tweaking, you can get back on track and rescue your relationship before it hits the rocks.
Red Flag #1: Tuning Out
One of the most common reasons relationships fail is because one or both partners is tuning out. It might sound minor, but in actuality, few things are more hurtful than being ignored by your loved one, whether that is accompanied by emotional neglect or physical distance.
The Cure: Take Down the Wall
Tuning back in is easy. All you have to do is agree to listen to your partner's feedback and dedicate time and emotion to the relationship again. Start taking down the emotional wall, brick by brick. Look at your partner in the eye when he or she speaks (even if it is not what you want to hear), make physical contact daily (even if it is just holding hands), and re-commit to the relationship.
Red Flag #2: Fighting Fire with Fire
Couples who fight fire with fire can expect a relationship that is constantly up in flames. Name-calling, sarcasm, criticism, and violence (from throwing things, slamming doors, to actual physical abuse) result in emotional wounds that are hard to heal and relationships that are hard to rescue.
The Cure: Pour Water on the Flames
The next time you feel anger guiding you to say, or do, things you might regret, take time to cool off. If that's not possible, try framing your complaints as requests. For instance instead of, "Why did you forget our date?," you could say, "I feel sad that you forgot our date. How can we make sure this doesn't happen again?" If your partner is the one who is fanning the flames, don't engage in the vicious cycle of insults and tantrums. You can't fight fire with fire if the other person won't engage in the flame-throwing.
Red Flag #3: Refusing to Own Up
No one is perfect, so why is it that some of us refuse to take responsibility in our most important relationships? Passing the buck and playing the victim are surefire ways to put a relationship in jeopardy.
The Cure: Take Responsibility for Your Actions
The next time you forget an anniversary, or say something hurtful to your spouse, don't try to pass the buck and refuse to take responsibility. Instead, admit where you went wrong and try harder next time. Sounds simple... but it can save your relationship.
By making simple changes to the way you and your partner communicate, you can keep your relationship intact. All couples fight and argue, but it is how you fight and argue that determines whether your love can weather the storm.